Welcome to 2017 … FLA drivers, an error in judgment and time for a mentor


Not a whole lot to say here. Another week, another letter.


January 2, 2017

Ellen/Reid: 2016 seemed like a bad dream/nightmare, and then I woke up this morning wondering if 2017 will be even worse. You know what I’m talking about. I didn’t bother to concoct any resolutions, other than keep-on-keeping-on since none of the others seem to stick anyway.

Reid, it was really great to join you and the Kigin’s and Betty for Christmas. Please relay that to Liz. Their generosity was over the top. I’m sending notes to Donna and Tom and Betty today. I went online last night to send them some wine (pinot noir) through Vivino as a ‘thank you’ but since there was no facility to mix and match bottles before the checkout phase was reached, I can only hope they like the six of the same vintage that will be on their doorstep in short order.

The drive from Marco Island to Hilton Head can only be described as onerous. Never, ever, have I experienced so much heavy traffic. Not that there was anything more than spotty slow downs here and there. It was just bumper to bumper and staying alert and on your toes for that long is just a drain. Floridians seem to drive by a different set of road rules which could be likened to a mixed martial arts match: anything goes. No use of turn signals, lane changes on a whim, and ‘The posted speed limit does not apply to me.’ Hilton Head, however, was great. It was cooler than normal but still great fun. The timeshare was one of the best in recent years in terms of style and newness. My friends Luke and Lynn stayed with me while Sondra and Jody got another unit at the last minute since there would have been too many men in a single location.

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Hilton Head the week after Christmas was great fun with friends (from left to right) Lynn, me, Luke, Jody and Sondra. I had one (okay, more than one) error in judgment but a box of chocolates (two for Sondra) for each helped me atone.

Jody also had a family obligation on the island so we didn’t get to see a whole lot of them but it still worked out pretty well. It didn’t take long to realize, yet again, there’s not a helluva lot to do unless you like golf or tennis or stroll the beaches. We did play golf several times and the courses were great. Too bad my sorry game was all-too-easily exported from Charlotte to the island. The low point was a very poor decision by me (after some extended revelry) to walk back from a night spot to the timeshare at a very late hour. I thought I told them I was leaving but since they had no clue where (or why) I split they sent a literal search party by car and bike to find me. What was estimated as a 20 minute walk was really an hour. Most of the next day or two was spent in atonement for causing them so much unnecessary worry and angst. New Year’s Eve was fairly mundane. For the record, Miss Emma and I caught several redfish on our lone paddle into the island waters. That was fun. I may head down to Charleston later this week to try our luck again. I can’t seem to get enough of kayak fishing.

But it is good to finally be home. That was a long trip of nearly 1,700 miles. There was one visit by potential buyers while we were gone. There was, however, no follow up bid. It’s a familiar process that’s become very old. Still, my chin is up and the house will sell. It is just so damned tiring to stew and fret about it all the time.

Reid, let me know how I can help with the job. I can appreciate zeroing in on Google, but the whole shebang is probably a process where you’ll need to toss a lot of mud on many, many walls. I wish I could help you network better but other than Gene and Tom up there, my sources are minimal. There is a strong likelihood that simply talking to people – a lot of people – will lead to doors being opened or other solid leads. You might also volunteer on the tech side with organizations who have scads of other volunteers aligned to businesses. That’s how I got my job at Meredith. Something to think about, too, is finding a mentor. Someone who can be the objective sounding board or ‘yeah, but …’ kind of person since your mom and I are a little to close to the forest for the trees. Maybe that’s Tom since he has so much business acumen (not to mention success). I’ve often thought about what a mentor might have meant to my career. But we’ll never know, will we?

Love, Dad

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